John Penrose MP...

PUBLISHED: 08:58 02 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:23 24 May 2010

Whew! The run-up to Christmas was frantic as usual this year. Firstly there were all the normal projects and jobs of any busy office

Whew! The run-up to Christmas was frantic as usual this year. Firstly there were all the normal projects and jobs of any busy office. Then there were the carol services and the Christmas shopping. And in my office there were three extra seasonal items in the diary.One was the flood of entries from local schools to design me a Christmas Card. It took ages to choose a winner because there were so many brilliant entries. It was great fun, and the designs looked superb once they came back from the printers as professionally produced Christmas cards. Thank you to all the pupils and teachers who took part.By the time I've sent a card to everyone who's helped me or my staff during the year, plus friends and family, it usually adds up to several hundred people. So when I made an early-morning visit to Weston's local post sorting office in the middle of the Christmas mailing rush, I was wondering whether my cards would be the straw which broke the camel's back. I needn't have worried. The staff had everything under control, and were cheerfully coping with all the extra sacks of mail without a qualm. And finally I went to help out at Comfort At Christmas. They do a great job every year, offering a safe place to sleep and a proper Christmas meal for homeless people in Weston. I found the volunteers dealing with donations of clothes and bedding, and dishing out a huge order of Christmas curry donated by a local Indian restaurant. It's easy to get sidetracked by all the shopping, the food and the presents at this time of year. But helping people who haven't got a roof over their heads should be part of it too, so everyone can be safe and warm this Christmas.

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